#16 – Exploring the Bayou and the Desert! Caddo Lake and Palo Duro State Park, Texas, and Louisiana.

Crossing the Mississippi River into Louisiana

As we left Alabama, we crossed the mighty Mississippi River and began making our way west. We decided to stay a little north, and not go too deep into the heart of Texas, and more skip along the top, visiting Arkansa, Oklahoma and Louisiana along the way. Our first stop was in Jackson Mississippi, where we boondocked at a Walmart for the night. We then made our way to Caddo Lake State park, where we planned on staying for a few days and enjoying a bayou tour!

Sasquatch sighting in the Bayou

We stayed in a little town called Karnack, which was very close to Caddo lake, and a warm spot for us to stay. We had booked our tour with Captain Ron’s Bayou Boat Tours, but his boat broke down! Our camp hosts had a good recommendation for us, and their friend John took us out for 2 hours on his own really fast boat. We had a great morning zooming through the bayou, seeing lots of birds, turtles and even some Sasquatch sightings in the bush! We did not get to see any Alligators however, as they were all hibernating already for the winter. We did get to try some fried Alligator though at the local watering hole! Very tasty and slightly like chicken!

An old steamboat on the Bayou

Staying next to the bayou was quite spooky, especially when the fog rolled in and the sun went down. We heard lots of weird noises and kept our eyes out for Armadillos and Sasquatches! Our neighbours and hosts at the RV camp were super nice, very friendly and gave us lots of tips and advice for routes going north and west.

Enjoying our day on the boat in the Bayou

After fully exploring the bayou, riding our bikes around Caddo Lake area, getting to know some locals and eating lots of fried food, we headed out and made our way north, to go above Dallas and Fort Worth, on our way west along the I-40. We made our way to Oklahoma City, and had a very windy evening there, but according to the locals, “if your RV door dosen’t blow right off, its not that bad”. Our Camper was good at keeping us warm, but the wind was loud and the trains nearby kept us up as well. We had a beautiful sunrise before we headed out and made our west, on the windiest day of our entire drive.

The drive was a white-knuckle affair, with sustained winds all morning that made it a little tougher to keep straight. We got through it however, and made our way into Texas, near Amarillo, to Palo Duro State Park. This was definitely a highlight for us, as we experiences a beautiful spot with amazing geography that was super different than anything else we’ve encountered so far. The campsite was deep into a large canyon and was surrounded by amazing hikes and beautiful vistas.

Palo Duro State Park

We saw our first Armadillo right beside our campsite rummaging through some leaves. It was not too bothered by us and Caroline was able to get quite close to it and take some photos. We heard coyotes every day at sunset and sunrise, howling to start and end their day. It was a great spot and felt very different from our time in the bayou. It was warm during the day, the stars were super bright and we were most defintely in the west.

Armadillo right by our campsite

After the sun went down, I spent a little time playing with my phone, getting some Astrophotography shots of the night sky. Where we were, we could easily see Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, all lined up in the western sky, just after sunset. It was a great way to spend our evenings, outside, staring up and talking about our trip so far, we just had to bundle up to stay warm!

Big sky full of stars!

We also found a great cave in the park, called “The Big Cave” and wanted to explore it a bit before we moved on. It was not as big as we anticipated, but was still cool to see and explore a little bit.

The Big Cave in the Park

After this, we packed up and began our last leg of our US tour, the southwest. We were excited to head to Arizona and California, as we explore Sedona, and Joshua Tree Park before hitting the west coast and slowing down in San Diego for a bit.

Photos from this chapter of our trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4FAVja7PF27mULiS7